Male witches in early modern Europe by Lara Apps

By Lara Apps

This is often the 1st ever complete publication almost about male witches addressing incidents of witch-hunting in either Britain and Europe.

Uses feminist different types of gender research to critique the feminist schedule that mars many stories. Advances a extra bal. opinions historians' assumptions approximately witch-hunting, tough the marginalisation of male witches by means of feminist and different historians. indicates that giant numbers of guys have been accused of witchcraft of their personal correct, in a few areas, extra males have been accused than ladies. It makes use of feminist different types of gender research to problem fresh arguments and present orthodoxies offering a extra balanced and intricate view of witch-hunting and ideas approximately witches of their gendered varieties than has hitherto been available.

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With few exceptions, modern scholars see the witch as essentially female, and are not prepared to recognise male witches as valid historical subjects of the same importance as female witches. It is not that they are unaware of the existence of male witches. Most serious studies, including current surveys, mention male witches; however, the male witch vanishes quickly from view, as he is made invisible by a combination of rhetorical strategies. This exclusion, which inverts the elision of women from traditional history, is not restricted to feminist scholarship.

Keith Thomas, for example, draws his readers’ attention to the fact that some witches were men, but then switches to the feminine pronoun: ‘A witch was a person of either sex (but more often female) who could mysteriously injure other people. ’23 Anne Barstow presents a particularly objectionable version of this elision. After explaining that ‘[i]t is through an analysis of the percentage of women and men accused and of the percentage condemned that the gender bias of this persecution emerges’,24 she goes on to say: [ 30 ] chapter1 21/12/04 8:50 am Page 31 TH E H I S TO R IA N A ND T H E MA L E W IT C H Given the chaotic state of the records, the temptation to round off the numbers is strong.

Alan Macfarlane, Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England: A Regional and Comparative Study (repr. : Waveland, 1991 [London: Routledge, 1970]). 15 Barstow, Witchcraze, 4. 16 This statement could be read another way, namely, that Barstow views non-feminist male historians as rational in a pejorative sense. This would be consistent with certain feminist theories about the link between (negative) rationality and patriarchy, as well as with interpretations of the Nazi Holocaust as a product of modernisation and rationalism.

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